US welcomes India's ratification of Paris climate agreement

Washington: The US has welcomed as "fantastic news" India's ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change signed last year at the Conference of Parties (CoP) 21 climate summit in the French capital.

"Yeah. We welcome this," Elizabeth Trudeau, Director in the US State Department Press Office, said in the daily press briefing here on Monday 

"This is fantastic news," she said.

In a very significant symbolic gesture, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Sunday, India deposited its Instrument of Ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the United Nations.

India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin handed over the Instrument of Ratification signed by President Pranab Mukherjee to Santiago Villalpando, the chief of the Treaties Division.

According to the provisions of the Paris Agreement, the treaty will come into force as and when 55 countries, or signatories contributing 55 per cent of the total global harmful emissions, ratify the Agreement.

"This significant contribution towards the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement underlines Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice and reaffirms India's responsive leadership in addressing the impact of climate change," India's Permanent Mission in the UN said in a statement.

US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande welcomed the move and congratulated India.

"Gandhiji believed in a world worthy of our children. In joining the Paris Agreement, @narendramodi & the Indian people carry on that legacy," Obama said in a tweet.

In her briefing on Monday, Trudeau, while stating that the US was very encouraged by India's move, said: "We care about strong climate action , and the Paris Agreement has been a matter of personal commitment and leadership for both President Obama and (Indian) Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi."